Week 13 was a bounce back one for me.  Needed a positive outcome and got it to the tune of $265. Gets me back to four-figures in the black at $1015.

Leo’s Lock is still just that.  Sitting at 11-1 for the year with the only blemish the controversial loss by Michigan State at Nebraska which just happens to be their only red mark of the season. Always helps the bottom line when you’re that consistent with your can’t lose or should I say can’t win selection.

This week is really unique with most of the college games being of the conference championship variety.  Throw the records out because this is for bragging rights and recruiting pitches for the year so, as Jackie Gleason would say and I’m really dating myself, away we go.

LEO’S LOCK

NCAA

Temple (+6) loses to HOUSTON

Being from the Greater Delaware Valley, which is the provincial term for the Philadelphia area, my heart wants to pick the team from The City of Brotherly Love.  Head Coach Matt Rhule needs to get serious consideration for Coach of the Year after guiding Temple from nowhere to a 10-2 log. The problem was I saw one of the games that ended up on the right side of the dash and that was USF with its high octane offense.  Cougars are a souped-up version of the Bulls on offense and are undefeated with QB Greg Ward II at the helm. Speed kills and Houston has it in droves, especially when they have the football, plus it’s a home game in Texas. Going to get ugly early for the Owls so I see UH by a whole lot.

LEO’S LOSERS

NCAA

North Carolina (+5) loses to Clemson

Before the season began, I picked the Tigers to be one of the four teams heading to the playoffs on New Years Eve night. QB Deshaun Watson is having a Heisman Trophy season and the Clemson offense scores 30 points by mistake. I realize UNC will be no pushover. The Tar Heels have won 11 in a row themselves and can put some big numbers up on the scoreboard as well. I look for a shootout in Charlotte but my thought process hadn’t changed.  Dabo’s troops punch their ticket to the playoffs with a high-scoring victory.

Southern California (+4 1/2) loses to Stanford

All-around offensive threat Christian McCaffrey is the reason I’m going with the Cardinal. I’m so impressed with the skill level and overall effect he has on the game that, if he was suiting up for the Trojans, I would be picking USC as the winner. After that, both teams are almost totally even. So I’m picking Stanford to win with a late score by, you guessed it, #5.

NFL

CLEVELAND (+9 1/2) loses to Cincinnati

Bengals are for real. The Red Rifle has the Stripes heading toward not only a playoff berth but a possible first-round bye. Browns had their heart torn out Monday night with the gut-wrenching loss on a last-second blocked field goal Kick 6. Look for Cincy big in the Battle of Ohio.

Philadelphia (+9 1/2) loses to NEW ENGLAND

I almost looked to switch this with all the injuries the Patriots have suffered. Then it hit me that #12 is still under center for New England. Birds defense play way too much press man so look for Brady to carve up a real banged up Eagles secondary. Pats by double-digits in Foxboro.

Indianapolis (+7) loses to PITTSBURGH

Hard for me to go against “The 40-Year Wonder” but QB Matt Hasselback is going against a Steeler defense that will find a way to put constant pressure on him. The fact that Indy could only manage 26 yards rushing last week does not bode well for the Colts. Pittsburgh, playing at Heinz Field with a lot of Terrible Towels waving, by a touchdown over the Horseshoes.

LEO’S OTHERS

NCAA

West Virginia (-6) loses to KANSAS STATE
Florida (+17 1/2) loses to Alabama
Michigan State (-3) loses to Iowa

NFL

San Francisco (+7) loses to CHICAGO
TENNESSEE (-2 1/2) loses to Jacksonville
Houston (+3) loses to BUFFALO
MIAMI (-4) loses to Baltimore
MINNESOTA (Pick) loses to Seattle
TAMPA BAY (-1) loses to Atlanta
New York Jets (-2) loses to NEW YORK GIANTS

LEO’S SPECIALS

NCAA

Air Force at SAN DIEGO STATE (-6)

In the Mountain West Championship game, SDSU is the obvious pick. The Aztecs are at home and riding an eight-game winning streak plus a chance to have a rare double-digit win season. I know Air Force wants to chew up clock with their option offense and limit possessions. Have three good reasons to pick San Diego State over the Falcons and I’m going to take that advice. Lay the 6.

NFL

Arizona (-5) at ST. LOUIS

The “wise guys” must know something I don’t because, on paper, this is a mismatch. Rams all beat up on both sides of the ball and Cards Carson Palmer could have a career day especially if he targets WR Larry Fitzgerald. That’s good enough reason for me to lay the 5. Arizona by 14 over St. Louis.

Denver at San Diego (43 1/2)

No Peyton Manning but the Broncos find a way to score more points than their opponent and win. Chargers having a down year record-wise but not in the points department. Philip Rivers had put up some goofy-good numbers but can he continue that against Denver. I say yes so take the over.

Dallas at Washington (42 1/2)

Redskins offense had sputtered lately and Cowboys offense, without Tony Romo, has been just awful. Don’t be surprised if this game becomes a field goal feat. Neither team gets to twenty points on the scoreboard and that reeks of an under so take it.